Hong Kong: Health conscious office workers appreciate benefits of working from home

| 21 May 2020

Sun Life Hong Kong Limited ("the Company" or "Sun Life Hong Kong") announced its latest "Health and Wellbeing at Work" survey in Hong Kong. The survey found that 64% of respondents are satisfied or very satisfied with the human resources policies at their company during the pandemic, with 53% enjoying an improved sense of belonging. Of those surveyed, 63% described their current mood as content, and 72% ranked health as their top life goal for the next five years.

With 62% of office workers who worked from home during the CoVid-19 outbreak in Hong Kong (Jan- Apr 2020), at least 84% said the arrangement provided for flexibility to run personal errands, with 81% claiming that they felt more mentally relaxed. 

69% of the surveyed agreed that working from home improved relationships with family members in the same household. Most respondents believe flexible working arrangements, including working from home (73%), flexitime (83%), and compressed working hours (77%), should remain in place after the pandemic eases.

The survey also found that over 67% of respondents felt happy to spend less time face-to-face with their superiors and co-workers while working from home. This suggests that flexible working arrangements could become the new normal and beneficial to the physical and mental wellbeing of office workers.

Sun Life Hong Kong commissioned YouGov to survey 810 office workers, aged 18 to 64, on their attitudes towards health and happiness, workplace and mental health, as well as the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on lifestyle and work environments. The survey was conducted via online questionnaire between April 29 and May 6, 2020.


Personal satisfaction influenced by mentality

Over 70% of respondents have prioritized health as their primary life goal in the next five years, and consider health as the most important aspect of life. 88% of those surveyed are confident in maintaining these convictions after the pandemic passes.

Office workers with a precautious approach to health are more satisfied with their physical health (81%), compared to the average of 65%, and financial health (62%), compared to the average of 50%, and are generally happier (75%), compared to the average of 63%. In comparison, for those who take a more laid-back approach, only 53% and 40% are satisfied with their physical health and financial health respectively, and only 51% feel happy.

Reactive approach to health still the norm

It is worth noting that 64% of respondents either take notice of personal health only when symptoms appear or never pay serious attention to their health conditions. Over half of respondents hold an imprudent or transient attitude towards health, with many taking health seriously only when serious illness arises, or believe they can be young and reckless.

The survey revealed that 60% of respondents have taken proactive steps to improve their health. For those who have yet to act, over half adopt a “carefree” approach and see it as the general case in Hong Kong. It is observed that office workers who have already purchased medical protection are likely to be more health-conscious, with 66% already addressing health-related problems proactively.

Positivity and optimism despite pandemic

The survey has found that 63% of office workers are in a positive mood, with 56% noting a higher or same level of happiness compared to six months earlier. However, respondents were generally dissatisfied with their financial health, highlighting the need for long-term financial planning to provide assurance for office workers. While 43% of those who felt happy found happiness in contentment, the survey also found that those who proactively improved on their health felt more positive than those who did not, suggesting that a healthy lifestyle may boost happiness.

Work-related health issues still present

More than half (55%) of office workers face “extremely” or “relatively” high pressure at work, with the most common causes being workload and difficult tasks (67%), job security and pay cut concerns under the economic downturn (59%), and unrecognized efforts at work (57%). The top three signs of burnout are frequent fatigue (56%), lack of motivation to exercise or going outdoors (48%), and forgetfulness (47%).

The survey also identified the top three work-related health issues, which include insomnia or poor sleeping quality (56%), dry eyes (55%), and muscle strain (54%). The three main causes for these issues are fatigue caused by busy work schedule (59%), mental stress (58%), and poor posture at work (50%).


For more news:

Hong Kong: Over half believe that their savings would be insufficient to support retirement - Manulife survey

AIA brings David Beckham and Spurs together to promote Healthier, Longer, Better Lives

Industry likely to keep using remote offices


For the full suite of stories and updates, always check in to our Facebook / LinkedIn. Click the following if you want to improve your sales, learn how to be a better leader, or you just need some motivation to kick start your engine.

Do you have a new product or programme to share? Or perhaps you are keen to explore any collaborations with us or our partners?  Reach out to us at Connect@AsiaAdvisersNetwork.com